October 21, 2009

Emergent Grammar

Teaching Grammar as a part of the  lesson, in small fragments and then having some practise I feel is my way of doing grammar . However sometimes I do revisit a grammar point if I feel the students are struggling with understanding, and usage. I do agree with the author and have experienced the frustration when students continue to make the same mistakes even after having had instructions on how to use a particular tense or form, it is definitely  a case of taking one step forward and two steps backward. 

Teaching Grammar Mc Nuggets style is  not exactly how I would say the process of grammar teaching is  with my colleagues. It's  mostly a PPP model, with a little warm up or introduction, using a text or discussion which is geared to lead to the grammar point. This followed by some expalnation, then may be answering any doubts or questions. Then some practise.With this methods I feel more in control, and at ease. But there are many times when I'm trying to teach a particular Grammar point, another one crops up, and I realise the follies of teaching grammar points in isolation. 

I think it is the linearity and complexity of acquiring grammar  that may be responsible for younger students making far more progress than older ones. This may be because of motivation, need or just a case of being able to adapt easily at a younger age. It is in the  end a process of acquiring  language with all it's different  rules and variations.


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  1. I’m not sure your approach to teaching grammar would find favour with Thornbury! He would say that your model is very much one of “transmission”, and that you need to consider ways that the learners can discover grammar for themselves. You say that you teach in small fragments – who determines the size and content of these? You? the learner? or a coursebook? The article was intended to challenge this sort of practice and make you think about whether it’s really the best way to go about things

    02 Nov 2009, 17:04


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